Things are looking up for airline companies, which have reported respectable profits in what is historically their slowest quarter of the year. The top seven U.S. airlines have together posted a first-quarter operating profit of $247 million, compared to a modest loss a year ago.
Airline industry trade group Airlines for America’s annual summer forecast predicts that U.S. airlines will carry 206.2 million passengers in the June-August peak flying season, just 5 percent below the record of 217.6 million. A record number of passengers will fly internationally this summer, and the total of travelers is expected to reach 26.8 million, beating last summer’s record of 26.3 million.
According to Airlines for America’s President and CEO Nicolas E. Calio, customers are benefiting from record airline operational performance and greater access to the global economy while fares continue to trail the price of other services.
Delta Air Lines, for example, reported strong financial and operating performance for April 2012. Delta’s passenger revenue increased 11 percent for the month of April as compared to the same time period last year. The airline witnessed strong revenue improvement across all departments by tightly controlling the number of its airline seats available, the number of future airline passengers already booked, and benefits from investments in products and services.